Outdoor restaurants in Doha
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Casual is the watchword at this pub nominated for a Time Out Best Bar Food award. The stylish outdoor terrace has berthing for luxury yachts and views of the Arabian Gulf, but at no point does it feel elitist or stuffy. Just what you want when you’re tucking into very good burgers, tempura and quesadillas after sunset.
Sun-Wed 5pm-midnight, Thu 5pm-1am, Fri noon-1am, Sat noon-midnight. West Bay Lagoon, www.ritzcarlton.com (4484 8000).
Any excuse to visit Souq Waqif is greedily grasped by Time Out. Especially when there is a promise of grilled meats and mezze at the end. A courtyard and rooftop terrace setting in the renovated market district is a sure-fire winner for tourists and residents looking for a taste of Arabia.
Daily noon-midnight. Souq Waqif (4431 1818).
One of the best restaurant locations in Doha is a destination worthy of a romantic meal or visitor-impressing locale alike. The private terrace sticks out into the water offering views out into the Arabian Gulf or back up at the skyline of West Bay. Fill up on heaps of Lebanese food and mezze of all shapes and sizes while you take in the view.
Daily. 12.30pm-12.30am. Balhambar Building, Al Corniche Street, www.almourjan.com (4483 4423).
Fine dining it certainly is not, but this is still a Ritz-Carlton restaurant so a certain standard can be expected of the kitchen’s efforts. What is most impressive of this shisha terrace and lounge, however, is the sea view from beneath the private canopies. Sunsets and late nights rarely look so, well, photogenic and with a well-placed mezze plate or two we reckon this is a good spot to put down roots and stretch out an evening.
Daily 5.30pm-1am. Sharq Village, Ras Al Abu Abboud Street, www.ritzcarlton.com (4425 6666).
The sort of sand-between-your-toes dining experience usually reserved only for the most special night of a honeymoon is always within your grasp at this beach restaurant. Furniture is basic and a few umbrellas are the extent of fanciness, but when meat is sizzling on the barbecue and you’ve already got freshly caught seafood on your plate you won’t want for anything else.
Daily 11am-11pm. Marsa Malaz Kempinski, The Pearl-Qatar, www.kempinski.com (4035 5011).
Romantic Italian food with pretty Pearl-Qatar views and lots of charm. Sister restaurants in Rome and New York speak of a proud heritage, but we reckon our Doha branch holds up on the location wow factor. The marvellous food is a further boost with authentic dishes served with flair.
Daily 12.30pm-2am. Marsa Malaz Kempinski, The Pearl-Qatar, www.anticapesadoha.com (4035 5011).
In cooler months, the large terrace, particularly the central pagoda, at Zubarah Boutique Hotel's Argentinian restaurant is one of the most charming locales in Doha. Food, as would be expected from this part of South America, puts steak at the centre of the menu. It's a down-to-earth and authentic place, while the views across Al Muntazah are lesser spotted and all the better for it.
Daily 6pm-midnight. Zubarah Boutique Hotel, Al Muntazah, www.zubarahhotels.com (4447 0000).
A restaurant with a celebrity chef’s name attached that makes no play at fine-dining stuffiness is a welcome sight. So it is at Carluccio's, the Italian named after the genial TV star and chef Antonio. We reckon it is one of the top spots for family dining in Qatar and are particularly fond of the sea views from the Pearl location. There is a feel of an Italian street café about the place, which is only enhanced by picking up self-cook items that you can take home from the in-house deli.
Daily 8am-12.30am. Porto Arabia, Pearl Qatar, www.carluccios.com (6690 1777).
Brazilian churrascarias are high on our love list. Unlimited barbecued meats brought to you and carved at your table until you can stand it no more, is something that appeals to our gluttonous side. The renovated and restored Souk Al Wakrah is an ideal spot for just such a restaurant. Dine up on the rooftop and it has a vague feel of Rio de Janiro about it and after eating a stroll on the large beach only enhances that.
Daily 1pm-11pm. Souk Al Wakrah, www.facebook.com/copacabanaqatar (3119 6242).
It's been more than a year since this Four Seasons' gem was revamped and we're still enamoured by the outdoors dining with garden and Gulf views. Inspired by the elements, we reckon you can get a taste of each if you get a dramatic fire table in the breeze overlooking the sea. Food is stylish and of the high standards demanded by a Four Seasons restaurant, and we like the international feel.
Daily 6am-10.30am, noon-11.30pm. Four Seasons Doha, Doha Corniche, www.fourseasons.com (4494 8600).
The buffet-style food at the Governor Suites won’t match up to the greatest fine dining destinations in Doha, but the view is an interesting one. Out on the terrace you’ll be surrounded by the skyscrapers of West Bay. At night, with lights glimmering against a dark night sky it can be every bit as interesting as the many pretty sea vistas.
Daily 11am-11pm. Governor Suites, West Bay, www.governorsuites.com (4445 1547).
So atmospheric are the interiors at this Chinese restaurant and lounge that it is possible to forget it is actually set in the gardens of the St. Regis Doha. While some restaurants champion their exteriors as the chief purpose of their being, Hakkasan takes it all in its stride. This is Doha’s best restaurant and it just so happens to have outdoor dining. Concentrate on the peerless food and rest assured that the al fresco seating will be exemplary as well.
Sun-Thu 7pm-1am, Fri noon-3pm, 7pm-1am, Sat 1-4pm, 7pm-1am. St. Regis Doha, West Bay, www.hakkasan.com (4446 0170).
Probably Doha’s best Thai restaurant is also an impressive spot for outdoor dining. To be honest we would devour dishes like fried sea bass wrapped in betel leaf or roasted duck and pineapple red curry if it were served in a broom cupboard. Thankfully the setting is just as tantalising, with an outdoor terrace looking down on landscaped gardens and cool pools. Aim for a table at the highly regarded Friday brunch, or after sunset for balmy evenings.
Sat-Thu 5-11.30pm, Fri 12.30-3.30, 6.30-11.30pm. Grand Hyatt Doha, West Bay, www.hyattrestaurants.com/doha (4448 1234).
jones the grocer
This funky Antipodean haunt is a blueprint of how to run a modern, deli-style cafe and lounge. Healthy food, brilliant breakfasts, bags of charm and good food to match. Interiors are large and often crammed with people munching the famous burgers, homemade soups, imaginative mains and tasty salads. A sprawling terrace with outdoor seating is available if you want some cooling air with your coconut flour pancakes.
Daily 8am-11pm. The Gate, West Bay, www.jonesthegrocer.com (4407 7175).
La Spiga by Paper Moon
Doha’s best Italian restaurant is on the stylish end of the spectrum. Modern, sleek and predominately monochrome, it is simplistic and clean-cut. Spill out onto the terrace, however, and there is a warmth extending beyond the atmosphere. View the high-rise neighbours of the chic W Doha and sit under umbrellas while enjoying fine pasta and pizza.
Daily noon-4pm, 5pm-11.30pm. W Doha, West Bay, www.laspigadoha.com (4453 5354).
Anywhere we can hear the gentle ebb and flow of the tide starts off on a strong foot in our book. Especially when it serves highly commended Italian food at the same time. Corniche and Old Town views aside, there is a lot to be said for dining at this Sheraton favourite, not least the authentic Italian dishes and frequent offers. Turn up for jazz night on a Tuesday and it is more than just the breeze that makes you cool.
Sun-Thu noon-3pm, 7pm-11.30pm, Fri-Sat 12.30pm-4pm, 7pm-11.30pm. Sheraton Grand Doha, Al Corniche, www.laverandadoha.com (4485 3000).
MIA Park Café
The Museum of Islamic Art is one of the finest locations in Doha. Any excuse to get along here should be speedily accepted. Prolong your stay by lingering over coffee at the in-house café. The hardest decision you'll make is whether to cast your eyes over the museum’s stunning architecture or let them cross over the water to the towers of West Bay and beyond.
Daily (except Tue and Fri) 8pm-midninght. Museum of Islamic Art, Corniche (4422 4191).
By day this poolside restaurant might provide views of holidaymakers going for a dip. At night, however, it transforms. Views of Downtown Doha, lit up and sparkling, are a backdrop for barbecue nights to remember. The rooftop lounge has barbecue nights every Wednesday and Thursday and we reckon there is a view to a grill.
Fri-Sat 8am-9pm, Sun-Tue, 9am-9pm, Wed-Thu 9am-10.30pm. Warwick Doha, Al Sadd, www.warwickhotels.com (4477 4254).
Dear Universe – more Greek restaurants please. We once spent one of the greatest weeks of our life scoffing tzatziki, feta, oily seafood and moussaka on a terrace in the Greek isles and we actively want to recreate it as often as we can. Hence the frequent visits to this Hellenic institution, where minimal white walls, friendly Mediterranean vibes and a spacious view across the Arabian sea are evocative of holidays past and future.
Daily. 12.30-11.30pm. Mykonos, InterContinental Doha, West Bay, www.ihg.com (4484 4919).
There are Nobu restaurants around the world, and chef Nobuyuki Matsuhisa’s food is famed for Nikkei cuisine, fusing traditional Japanese with elements of modern Peru. The stunning Four Seasons showpiece, however, must be the most impressive in the empire. It is certainly the largest and perched out in the sea on a private pier it takes breaths away seemingly at will. The circular restaurant has a 360° water’s edge terrace – sit hear and grab some real estate at one of the finest spots in Doha. Especially if you’re wanting to eat lobster wasabi tacos as you do so.
Daily 6pm-1am (plus brunch on Fridays). Four Seasons Doha, Doha Corniche, www.fourseasons.com (4494 8600).
Opal by Gordon Ramsay
The most relaxed of the various Gordon Ramsay restaurants that have opened over the years in Doha is a casual pleasure. Tables are spread out across the outdoor terrace and fine dining stuffiness is shooed away, and the experience is all the better for it. Food ranges from burgers and pasta to fish and chips and curry. It’s all served underneath the high archways and breezy spaces of the St. Regis gardens. Not really like any other Ramsay restaurant you’ll find.
Daily noon-4pm, 6-11pm. St. Regis Doha, West Bay, www.opalbygordonramsaydoha.com (4446 0105).
Simply put, we think this is the best family restaurant in Doha. An enormous outdoor terrace is ideal for parents to linger at while children play in full view at the playground beneath. There are international dishes aplenty available that will surely please any young palate. If you stick around until night (or just go on an evening) and you'll catch light and fountain shows from your table.
Daily noon-1am. Doha Corniche, next to Salata Park, www.orientpearlqatar.com (4410 6666).
Prepare to be amazed. Being situated on a private island off the Doha coast is not enough. This mellow lounge takes things a step further by being located on a floating restaurant out on its own jetty. Needless to say, the outdoors scores are through the roof. The international food includes mezze, curry and grills, but the setting is all you need know about. Oh, shisha is available too.
Daily 6.30pm-10.30am, noon-11.30pm. Banana Island Resort, www.anantara.com (4040 5116).
Inside at this Ottoman lounge is, it is fair to say, opulent. Up on the rooftop terrace, however, the atmosphere is lively and the view refined. Part of the Katara cultural quarter, it has panoramic West Bay views and highly commended Turkish food. Warm lighting and a cool breeze assure it is a good spot for big groups and celebrations. Try the delicous pide, authentic mezze dishes and hot, barbecues meats for a real taste of Turkey.
Sat-Wed 8am-11am, 4pm-1am, Thu-Fri, 8am-12.30am. Katara Cultural Village, Katara, www.sukarpasha.qa (4408 2000).
Even when you’re inside it feels like outdoors here. But you can actually go outside, too. That is one of the many benefits of deciding to go for a Polynesian island theme for your lounge, we suppose. Kitted out in your finest floral shirt and looking for a jetty in the Arabian Gulf? Then this is the place. It has panoramic views that are up there with the very best in Doha. And where else can you eat Tahitian prawns and coconut sauce?
Sun-Thu 4pm-2am, Fri-Sat 12.30pm-2am. Hilton Doha, West Bay, www.tradervicsdoha.com (4423 3118).
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